06 January, 2007

Engaging God: Who is Jesus?

Who Is Jesus?

Ask my cats whom my son and I are some day.

We are their providers. We cause their food dish to be full (often) before they even know they're hungry. We lead them beside the still water dish. And we restore their mangy coats. Well, my son brushes them from time to time, anyway.

We are their comfort. We are a warm lap, whenever we slow down enough, and don't have any food in our hands. We give laundry baskets full of clean, warm clothes for them to foul with their napping. And closets and doorways on which to pee. Oh, and litter boxes, too, but they don't always seem to know what those are for.

But, we are fickle providers. I recently replaced the fuzzed-out monitor in the basement with a new LCD display. Of the monitor's seventeen inches, only the center four could actually be read, and my eyes don't need that kind of extra exercise. I would move every email or blog to the center of the screen, so I that I could argue with it intelligently, instead of just guessing at their arguments by the relative density of the blurry text.

This replacement monitor gave me two or three mornings of great, great delight. My dumbest cat would wander around to the back of the display to jump up on its warmth and take a nap. Of course, the LCD does not have a warm back. It's two inches thick. He's been napping there for years, and suddenly, it's gone. That's fun enough, mind you, but it gets better. He then - every time, without fail - wandered to the front of the monitor, saw that there was computer/shiny stuff going on, and there's always warmth behind computer/shiny stuff, and he would jump onto the back of the monitor from the front. Because, if he comes from the front, instead of the side, it will change reality.

The first morning, he did this until I literally ran out of time. I watched him do it over and over - and over. There are no words for the joy his stupidity gave me. It was almost a week [I stand corrected - he just tried again, but only once] before he finally quit trying to make the back of the monitor appear by naming it and claiming it.

Yes, he reminded me of too many of my prayers.

My cats know me well...

They can tell you things about me that my closest friend or mother cannot tell you. You can learn from them what it takes to get me to lash out in anger, and how easily I can be manipulated.

... but they don't "get" me at all.

They don't know why my lap is so often available down here at the computer. They don't know why I love the way the moon washing over me is just like the Son of God loving me without delivering me from darkness. Nor do they know why I might try to capture that miracle with 14 lines of 10 syllables each. Believe me, they have no clue whether I am happy or depressed, and never dreamt of wanting to know, "Why?"

God once said,
Isa 55:8&9
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.


It's easy to see the discrepancy.

My cats see my great powers, but they are limited in what they can believe. They probably can imagine that if I set my mind to it, I could provide a thousand bowls of cat food, and a running stream of water. And, of course, they are right. I won't, because it is a complete waste, but I could. They don't see; they cannot see, that the most important thing in my life is people.

So, Who is Jesus?

Is there something about Jesus that we are missing? Is He so high above us that our love for Him is retarded? Are we still looking for the warm spot behind the new monitor in His life? Are His thoughts higher than our thoughts?

That question actually makes me pause for a second. I want to answer in a confident absolute, but I want to answer confidently both for and against the proposition. Obviously, He really is that high above us, but is He? He lowered Himself to be with us. Is that the answer? He's a "humaned-down" version of God Who sank low enough to understand us?

I think not.

There are reasons to hope for more than that. We are called His bride, and He forbade unequal marriages. We cannot be less than Him, and still marry Him some day. Is it possible that we are somehow elevated to companionship with God? Is it possible that we might understand the Poet in God? The Friend? The Lover? More than the Provider of our daily bread, salvation, and warm places to nap, might we know the deepest essence of the Ineffable? Might we be transformed so as to know the reasons behind God's most mysterious acts?

We praise Him, but might we praise Him for Who He really is, rather than merely Whom He seems to be?

John 15:15
Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.


I certainly never shared with my cat why I got a new monitor. All things is a lot of stuff.

John 3:5&6
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.


Ah. There is a "borning" that is new. Even though we are human, we can be born of the invisible that is above. There is a living that is alive in God's way.

1 Cor 6:17
But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.


There is a joining to the divine, and a becoming one with Him.

1 John 1:3
That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.


John, and those with him, had a true fellowship with the Father and with the Son. My dumbest cat might worship me, but he will never, ever fellowship with me. (Not even if I loved him.)

Joh 14:17
Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.


You know Jesus.

You know Jesus.

You know Him to the very depths of His being. You don't know Him fully, but you know Him truly. There are false brothers and sisters who only know about Him, who only how many and how good and great things God has done and will do for them, but if the Spirit dwells in you, you know the heart of the Living God and of the Holy Son.

The passions of God are not the passions of men, and yet they are your passions. In you is growing the passion for holy love toward the Holy. In you is growing the passion to sing of the beauty of God's purity, and to be pure yourself. In you is growing the hunger to do God's will, because it is your will to be the same as Him. These are new passions, conceived in you the day you were born of Spirit. They don't all feel natural yet, but they are growing.

1 John 3:2
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

2 Cor 3:18
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.


Who is Jesus?

Jesus is the Source of the new passions rising up in you, turning your whole life into a testimony of love for the Holy. Jesus is the Object of passions that you can channel and feed and enjoy. Jesus is the Source and Subject of every discipline, ecstacy and revelation that's changing your life for the better.

And you are becoming just like Him.

9 comments:

DugALug said...

CP,

Really great post. Thanks for the insight. I am alergic to cats, and it probably taints my view of them.

Your old monitor might explain some of our disconnects over the past few months...lol

A couple thoughts:

We praise Him, but might we praise Him for Who He really is, rather than merely Whom He seems to be?

Is this a valid question? Here is my point. If I stand on top of a building and declare that I don't beleive in the law of physics that says 'what goes up must come down'. So I walk off of the top. At this point my belief is arbitrary: I am on track with a rapid meeting with death. Reality trumps my belief.

My understanding of Jesus is no different. In fact, I see the catalyst God used in having Jesus crucified being that for many Jesus wasn't the Messiah that they expected. But the fact is that Jesus WAS (ans is) the Messiah, and our view of Messiah had to be changed. It isn't God's responsibility to redefine Jesus' role.

Jesus just is. God said it best: 'I am that I am'. He is everything, and more importantly for me: He is my everything.

Someone told me once: if you know Jesus then nothing else matters. If you don't then nothing else matters.

Once again, thanks for the cool post.

God Bless
Doug

codepoke said...

Thanks, Doug.

And, I'm glad for the new monitor, if I can just keep reading our discussions better. :-)

Reality trumps my belief.

I see the confusion. I was talking about two realities, both real, but one more complete. My cats know that I can provide cat food, and I know God can provide daily bread. Both are real, but both are incomplete. My use of the word, "seems," was an error. I should somehow have made it clear that God is all those things, but that the deeper things in Him are more important to Him.

But the fact is that Jesus WAS (and is) the Messiah, and our view of Messiah had to be changed.

And so with the Messiah.

The Jews wait for a Messiah Who will save the land, and the people of the land. The Messiah Who came is a Friend, though. They wanted a king, so they rejected a Lover. They fear holiness, but we have been given a new life that loves holiness, and the holiness of the Holy One. There is a better, deeper, more real way.

He is my everything.

Here's just the thing, Doug. This sentence can be understood two ways, and it's critically important which way it was meant.

My cats could say this about me. I am their everything. But that would be woefully insufficient. They are cats. Their everything is nothing to me.

Before I met the Lord, I could say the same thing about Him. He is my everything. Just like my cats, I understood God as a human relating to Him. My everything was about being fed, living forever, and staying out of hell. My everything was my thoughts of God, my works for Him, and my feelings toward Him. My everything was nothing to Him.

After I met the Lord, everything changed. My passions changed. Who I "am" changed. I came alive to a whole realm of spirit. I was born from heaven, and all things became new. In a flash, my everything was to be clean as God is clean, to fellowship as God fellowships, to love as He loves.

So, I believe that we might successfully praise God for Whom He is to our physical man, the man of mind, will and emotion, but fail to praise Him for Whom He is to our new man, the man of spirit. We need to praise Him for all the above.

BarBarA said...

i agree - great post!

DugALug said...

CP,

So, I believe that we might successfully praise God for Whom He is to our physical man, the man of mind, will and emotion, but fail to praise Him for Whom He is to our new man, the man of spirit. We need to praise Him for all the above.

Wow! That is a really cool thought and so well said. I really love the advancement here. Thanks for this articulation. Please note that I am not joking in the slightest here. (sometimes in my writing it is hard to see when I am really joking or not).

I would be remiss not to point out that if your cats could truly think. They wouldn't recognize you as their everything. Afterall, you don't create air, and you don't remove those pesky hairballs that they keep coughing up.

So yes, there are limits to your providence and there are none to God.

Thanks for the insight brother. I really loved it.

God Bless
Doug

codepoke said...

That means a lot, DugALug. Thank you.

And, thank you too, BarBarA.

I think there's more coming.

Milly said...

Your dumb cat reminds me of a lot of us that are addicted to something. So timely. . . I was wondering where a man that comes in almost every night to score his spray paint was. I had began to wonder if he had taken his finial huff while I was on leave. Last week he walked in, I almost didn’t recognize him. His hair was cut and clean, he was clean and dress well. Thank God I thought. My heart sank when he came up with his can of silver spray paint. See us addicts will circle it over and over again if we don’t find something else. Your cat isn’t human so it doesn’t know that Jesus is the place to find comfort, the more you know Him the less withdraws you have.

As far as really knowing Him I don’t think I even try to know or visualize Him completely. Jesus loved to surprise us, he loved the fact that we as humans love that. He enjoyed us on this earth so in Heaven I want to see His face when He sees mine in complete awe and surprise.

Danny Kaye said...

Great post, CP. You and I agree on almost NOTHING, docrinally speaking. But posts like this endear me to you. You speak with my heart...it's just that your words are better chosen. ;-)

So after reading all this and the comments, all I can say is:
WOW!!!, and that I really hope I get to meet you in person someday.

codepoke said...

Addictions are so human, Milly.

Heartbreaking.

You know, you see more - and more humanity - than any three people I know. Thanks for sharing.

codepoke said...

Agreeing is overrated, DK.

Thanks for checking in. :-) And I hope you find a buyer.